Polly II: Plan for a Revolution in Docklands (2006)
SD, 30min, sound
Set in the not-so-distant future Polly II – part satirical sci-fi, part soap opera and part Brechtian ‘Lehrstueck’ – portrays the lives of pirates and outcasts fighting against property developers and government agents in the flooded ruins of East London, a lawless zone set to become the latest in luxury waterside living. Alluding to Polly (1728), the censored sequel to John Gay’s popular Beggar’s Opera (1727), Polly II imagines a future insurrection against poverty, displacement and judicial terror, drawing on current anti-gentrification struggles and eighteenth-century accounts of East London’s radical working class, anti-colonial uprisings in the Caribbean, and their connections through revolutionary movements across the Atlantic. Realised with a cast of local amateur actors and housing activists and replete with DIY special effects and musical interludes, “the look of the film is a febrile haze of smoke, grey river and lowering skies…achieving a digital uncanny that conjures up both the photoshop-gothic of tourist brochures and moody Dutch landscape miniatures” (Marina Vishmidt).
Funded by Arts Council England.